Sixth Grade

TeacherYears Teaching
Ms. Kim Cairns27

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Mercyhurst College. Certified in Middle School Math.

"I teach in a Catholic School because being Christ-centered in teaching citizenship, good manners, etc. is far more meaningful when it accompanies the teachings of the Lord. "WWJD" carries greater weight than "That's not a nice thing to do (or say)."

TeacherYears Teaching
Mr. Eric Trapp5

"I am excited and proud to be here at OLCS! I have always had a great interest in learning and mathematics. I try and pass down that interest to the students though engaging activities, real-life situations, and even a little bit of humor."

What We're Learning:

Ms. Kim Cairns & Mr. Eric Trapp welcome you to sixth grade! Students in fifth and sixth grade switch classes daily to work with teachers who specialize in each field of study.

In Social Studies, students focus on the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. From there the students travel to Greece and Rome to learn how civilizations continued to develop and expand.

In religion classes, they study Old Testament history to trace the roots of their Christian heritage. The teachers hope to bring a better appreciation of God’s love for us and thehistory of Catholicism to the sixth graders. They use prayer, reflection, and reading of the Bible to guide their growth in their faith. Students demonstrate their religious beliefs and knowledge of the Christian faith through planning of liturgies, posters, reports, poems and much more.

Math is filled with decimals, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, pre-algebra and exponents to challenge the minds of sixth graders. Teachers prepare students for more complicated equations by building up from basic concepts. Various fun activities such as "buying" a Thanksgiving dinner within a budget encourage critical thinking. Sixth graders will be mathematicians! It is a busy and exciting year.

The Language Arts Curriculum for 5th & 6th Grades at Our Lady’s Christian School integrates reading, writing, listening, speaking and thinking to create a balanced literacy approach to Language Arts. The balanced literacy approach provides students with opportunities to develop higher level thinking skills and challenges them to explore authentic literature that relates to reading, writing, and real life experiences.

In reading/ literature, students will read both stories and novels and investigate the 10 important elements of a story; setting, character, character attitude, major events, problem, 3 main events, solution, and conclusion. In order to interpret informational text students will employ the use of active reading strategies such as; Annotation of Text, Double Entry Journals, Outlining, Graphic Organizers, and T Chart tables. Students have created Interactive Notebooks that they will use to maintain their notes, and any important language arts handouts. Students are required to read 20 minutes a day and maintain a log of their reading. This log is maintained in their Reader/ Writer Workshop folder.

In vocabulary, students will follow a specific process for developing spelling and vocabulary skills by identifying words in context, defining words, researching synonyms, and using vocabulary words in original sentences. All vocabulary work will be kept in the students Interactive Notebook.

Students will also be engaged in various writing activities that enable them to develop and maintain their understanding of the writing process. The students have created a Writer Workshop Folder to house all writing activities. This folder stays in the classroom and serves as a portfolio of their writing progress throughout the year. The Diocese curriculum requires 3 formal writing prompt assessments each year. These assessments will occur in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The Spring Writing Assessment will be scored with prompts from all other schools in the Diocese of Erie.

In Science, sixth grade students engage in an in-depth and hands-on study of topics in Life Science. Students complete four science units, beginning with a study of Ecology, moving into a unit on Biodiversity, and then transitioning to an examination of Heredity and Genetics. Students finish the year with a unit on Biology. Students also work in pairs to complete a lengthy independent investigation on a topic of their choosing related to our local environment.  They work with Allegheny College's Creek Connections organization to conduct monthly water quality monitoring of Cascade Creek and complete a service-learning project with Pennsylvania Sea Grant's Great Lakes Great Stewards program.  The Science Curriculum is designed to meet both the standards set by the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Erie and the nationally recognized Next Generation Science Standards. For a closer look at Ms. Fuhrman's science classroom, feel free to explore her classroom website.